Sydney Martin Memorial Lecture

An annual lecture in practical and social theology in memory of Revd Dr Sydney Martin

The Revd Dr Sydney Martin, who died at the age of 93 on 2nd August 2004, was one of a generation of evangelical ministers who had a significant influence in the city of Glasgow in the 1950s and 1960s.

Coming to the Sharpe Memorial Church in Parkhead in 1950, he was to serve there for twenty-five years, including among his contemporaries Dr Nelson Gray at Parkhead Congregational Church and Rev. George Duncan at St George’s Tron.

The first decade of his ministry was the era of population movement, when thousands moved out of the east end of the city to the new housing schemes at Barlanark, Easterhouse and Castlemilk, and under Sydney Martin’s leadership, Sharpe Memorial opened a branch church in Barlanark. The 1950s also saw the Billy Graham Kelvin Hall Crusade, and although he would not have regarded himself as primarily an evangelist, Sydney Martin was one of the many city ministers who threw their whole weight behind that very influential crusade.

His passion was preaching and it was rumoured that he spent up to 26 hours per week preparing to preach two sermons every Sunday (about 30 minutes each), plus a Wednesday evening meditation at the church prayer meeting.

He would also be a familiar face in the classrooms of NTC providing lectures in Pastoral Theology. In memorial to Dr Martin the library desks were presented to the college and each year a lecture is given to reflect the practical and social theology that was reflected in the ministry of Rev. Dr Sydney Martin.


Sydney Martin Lectures in Practical and Social Theology

  • 2009 Revd Richard Bewes
  • 2010 Professor Paul Ballard: ‘The Bible in Theological Practice’
  • 2011 Professor David Lyall: ‘Theological Reflection in Ministry’
  • 2012 The Reverend Canon Dr James Woodward: ‘Befriending the Elderly Stranger? Re-Imagining the Theology of Age’
  • 2013 Professor Michael Lodahl: ‘”For Each People an Open Road”: The Qur’an’s Interpretation of Religious Diversity’
  • 2014 Dr Nigel Wright: ‘Godhood and personhood’
  • 2015 Dare to Dream – no lecture
  • 2016 Dr Helen Cameron: ‘Justice-Seeking: Practical Politics for Local Churches’
  • 2017 Dr Sally Nelson: ‘From Here to Eternity: Human Pain in the Divine Story’
  • 2018 Professor Chris Baker: ‘Searching for “God” after God: Public Theology in an Age of Re-enchantment’
  • 2019 Dr Eric Stoddart: ‘Keeping an Eye on Surveillance’
  • 2020 Professor David Clough: ‘Christian Ethics and Eating Animals’